Pumpkins Are Healthy!

The Benefits of Eating Pumpkins

Did you know that pumpkins are not just for pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice lattes at your favorite coffee hangout?  Pumpkins have lots of health benefits too.  Here are some great reasons to eat pumpkin:

Immune System

Pumpkins are very nutritious.  They contain high amounts of vitamin A (from beta-carotene) C, B-Complex and other nutrients like magnesium, zinc and potassium.  These are all very important nutrients to strengthen our immune systems.  The oil that is extracted from pumpkins is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.   A good supply of beta-carotene may help to lower your risks of some types of cancers.

Antioxidant Protection

Eye Health – Pumpkin contains two very important antioxidants for the eyes – lutein and zeaxanthin which may help to prevent cataracts. Pumpkin’s bright orange color comes from beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A.  Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, is essential for healthy eyes.

Anti-Aging – The two kinds of carotenes in pumpkins, beta and alpha, may also help keep you young.  These antioxidants kill the free radicals running around in your body that cause it to get old and diseased.

Inflammation Reduction – Foods with orange pigments like pumpkins (carrots & oranges too), are powerful antioxidants, and help fight inflammation.

Weight Loss

Did you know that Mr. Pumpkin could also help you fight the fat?  Pumpkins have a high water content (nearly 90%) and lots of fiber that helps slow digestion.  When you eat pumpkin, you stay fuller, longer.  And for those of you counting calories, pumpkins weigh in at about 50 calories per cup.

Eat The Seeds!

Pumpkin seeds are chock full of B-complex vitamins which are essential for your nervous system, hormone regulation, metabolism, blood sugar and more.

The seeds are also rich in the amino acid, tryptophan, which may help you sleep better and even improve your mood.  The magnesium in pumpkin seeds benefits your blood pressure, blood vessels, bones, teeth, bowels, sleep and many other functions in the body.  Magnesium is so important that it may even help prevent cardiac disease.

Enjoy lots of pumpkin this season.  It is such a versatile vegetable and can be cooked, baked, used for frozen deserts and even applied topically in a mask for healthy looking skin.

But as for those pumpkin lattes, there is nothing nutritious about them. They are full of sugar, GE milk and other undesirable ingredients.  Just saying……

To your Health!

Peter Gillham

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